– Stan Smith, PA, Fairfield County OSU Extension
Despite suffering through a very wet late winter and early spring, the ‘D’ word (drought) has now returned to many local conversations. After the wet spring destroyed significant acres of newly planted corn and soybeans across Ohio, damaged the quality on a large portion of the state’s first cutting hay, and caused pastures to suffer from much trampling, the current dry conditions are causing reduced pasture plant growth.
The Drought Information Center website shows that as of June 14 only the western quarter of the state was labeled as “Abnormally Dry.” This designation is moving to the east, and will likely cover much of the rest of the state soon. All that being said, it’s apparent that it’s time to begin considering the alternatives for managing around poor producing pastures. Certainly it’s never too early in the summer to take a look at your forage and feed resources, and give some thought to alternatives that will hold you until cooler temperatures and precipitation return to Ohio. Continue reading